Sunday October 8 2017
Argentina drop Dybala and Icardi

Argentina again seem set to drop Paulo Dybala and Mauro Icardi, but start Milan midfielder Lucas Biglia against Ecuador.

This is going to be an absolutely decisive match, because the Seleccion risk missing out on the World Cup for the first time since 1970.

Hiring Jorge Sampaoli has so far failed to give them the necessary boost, as after a 0-0 draw with Peru, they are only sixth in the South American qualifying table.

A victory in Ecuador would secure qualification, but it’s a very tough test and played at altitude.

Gonzalo Higuain of Juventus was not called up, even after Sergio Aguero pulled out with a fractured rib.

Although Dybala and Inter hitman Icardi are in the squad, they again look set to be dropped in favour of Angel Di Maria and Dario Benedetto.

This is because Sampaoli believes Dybala is incompatible with Lionel Messi.

Eduardo Salvio seems likely to get the nod rather than Atalanta’s Alejandro ‘Papu’ Gomez, who started against Peru.

Fernando Gago is out after rupturing knee ligaments in that last match and Milan midfielder Biglia is tipped to start.

Argentina (probable): Romero; Mercado, Otamendi, Mascherano, Acuña; Enzo Perez, Biglia; Salvio, Messi, Di Maria; Benedetto

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